Wreaths and Garlands bring a touch of nature to holiday decor

Story by Meredith S. Jensen

Cornucopias and Christmas trees take center stage when it comes to decorating for the holidays. Mix it up this year and wrap your home in wreaths and garlands.

Come on in!

Your front door is easily your home’s first impression. Drape your doorframe with a festive garland and add a coordinating wreath.

For a standard 36-inch-wide door, try a wreath 28 inches to 30 inches in diameter for a full, dramatic effect. However, a smaller wreath — 20 inches to 24 inches in diameter — will give you a more classic, understated look. An oversized door should take an appropriately scaled wreath. Opt for something at least 30 inches in diameter, or larger depending on the door.

To calculate how much garland you’ll need, measure the width of the door. Next, measure the length of the door and multiply by 2 to account for both sides. Add both numbers together. If the doorway has an arch, multiply the width by 1.5.

Your average 80×36-inch door would take a little over 16 feet of garland. With an arch, you’re looking at about 18 feet.

Measure the same way for interior doors, windows, mirrors, etc. If you want to skip the math or are dealing with an irregularly shaped frame, run a piece of string along the desired path and then measure the string.

Room with a view

Windows give you a view of the great outdoors, so why not bring in some of those beautiful boughs? If you don’t open the tops of your windows, let the garland slightly drape across the window pane for an elegant look.

Table it

Scrap the standard flat table runner and throw down some garland. If you have room, use a small wreath to encircle your favorite holiday centerpiece. For extra impact, hang wreaths from the backs of your dining chairs.

Seasonal shelves

Decorating furniture pieces like bookshelves and storage cubbies can bring a little holiday magic in unsuspected places. Put the shelves to good use by embellishing them.

Mirror, mirror

Often overlooked because they are already décor, mirrors and paintings dress up well. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative, but don’t go overboard! You shouldn’t decorate every frame in your house. Be selective.

Pick up the mantel

The hearth is the heart of the home, so make your fireplace festive. Stretch some swags across the mantelpiece and hang a wreath front and center, flanked by stockings hung with care. Just be careful to keep your decorations free and clear of any flame.

Measure the length of your mantel, then multiply that number by 1.5 to give yourself a little extra leeway for draping. A 6-foot wide mantel, for example, would call for 9 feet of garland.

Sugarplum dreaming

Brighten up your bedroom door and get the kids involved for extra fun! The bedroom can be a great place to bring in a little holiday spirit just for you. Drape garland across the headboard before you lie down for a long winter’s nap.

Slide down the bannister

You’ve decorated upstairs and downstairs, but why not the space between? A festive garland adds a pop of holiday surprise in your staircase. For a swagged or draped look, measure the bannister, then multiply by 1.5 like with the mantel above. (A 10-foot staircase would take 15 feet of garland.) Include the newel post in your measurements for added drama. To wrap the garland, take the measurements and multiply by 2. (A 10-foot bannister with a 3-foot newel post would take 26 feet of garland.)

Postcard perfect

A garland around your mailbox will make picking up your greeting cards a little extra merry and bright.